by Janet I. Martineau
A poetry festival, an author of Christian books and the organizer behind the annual Saginaw on Stage concert are among the nominees for the 2012 All Area Arts Awards, announced today by the Saginaw Arts and Enrichment Commission.
The winners will be revealed on Thursday, May 3, during awards ceremonies and dinner at TheDowEvent Center, 303 Johnson.
Now in their 23th year, the awards honor arts organizations, businesses, volunteers and civic leaders whose efforts on behalf of the arts have enhanced the quality of life in Saginaw County.
|Bill Koepke at Saginaw on Stage|
Added this year is a new Great Lakes Bay Regional Arts Award, which will be presented annually to a person or organization whose vision is to encourage a thriving arts environment in the Great Lakes Bay Region.
Larry Preston of Tri-Star Trust Bank is its first recipient for his work as a driving force behind the Great Lakes Bay Arts & Entertainment Alliance and many other arts-related efforts promoting regionalism. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of ArtServe Michigan, the leading advocate for arts and cultural communities statewide, in addition to sitting on the boards of numerous local, regional and state organizations.
This year’s nominees for the Saginaw County portion of the All Area Arts Awards are:
Mike and Sarah Jury – Mike was on the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra search committee for conductor Brett Mitchell and sings with the Saginaw Choral Society, Sarah is a board member at the Castle Museum. And both have a long list of other board member and volunteer service. In addition, their Jury Foundation provides support for nearly every cultural endeavor in the area.
William Koepke, Jr. – For the past nine years, Koepke has served as the event organizer of the Rotary Club of Saginaw’s Saginaw on Stage Music concert. It has grown from a one-stage event at the Temple Theatre to 30 music groups performing on five stages at Apple Mountain in Freeland with dinner and a silent auction added on. Proceeds from the event benefit local charities and charitable projects.
Saginaw Township Community Education Organizers Colleen Carty, Linda Perry, Christine Tiderington and Catherine Kerns – Since 2002, this quartet has created a series of communitywide book reads dealing with such social issues as keeping hope alive amid tragedy, internet safety, biracial families, bullying and community gardens. Each read, in turn, has given rise to added events, including the Saginaw Township Community Gardens, a jazz concert at the Temple and a panel of criminal justice leaders talking about internet safety. The four organizers are currently in the midst of a bullying read involving 21 middle schools in Saginaw, Midland and Bay counties.
|Linda Perry, Chris Tiderington at a bullying book read event|
Mick McArt – Mick is the publisher and author of the “Tales of Wordishure” and other Christian books for children. His professional career is in multimedia design but he spends his spare time as chair of a Christian art show and other creative endeavors.
Charles McNair – Charles taught instrumental music before and after hours at Potter and Morley Elementary Schools, also using his time and financial resources to acquire instruments and the music needed to continue the program. Several of his former students became music teachers. Today Charles is actively involved in the Saginaw African Cultural Festival, now celebrating its 44th year.
Sue White – As an entertainment writer for The Saginaw News for more than 27 years, Sue covers the work of up and coming local artists who might have been overlooked as well as established local and national artists.
Theodore Roethke Poetry & Arts Festival at SVSU – The Roethke poetry prize has been awarded since 1968, but has grown in recent years to become a five-day festival celebrating the life and work of Saginaw native and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Theodore Roethke. The festival awards a $10,000 national poetry prize and features such events as a poetry slam, poems set to music in concert, wine tasting paired with poetry readings, a “Haunts of Roethke” tour around Saginaw and other events in Saginaw, Midland and Bay counties.
Absolute! Building Maintenance – Located in downtown Saginaw, Absolute! Building Maintenance supports the arts community and numerous non-profit organizations throughout Saginaw and the region with generous sponsorships and underwriting. The business and its employees also provide pro bono services to many area projects and events, including PRIDE’s Friday Night Live and Holidays in the Heart of the City. And they help spread the word about the area’s cultural activities by distributing promotional materials from local arts organizations to businesses they work in.
Catholic Federal Credit Union – Catholic Federal provided volunteers and financial support to PRIDE, Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra, Temple Theatre, Saginaw Art Museum and many other organizations.
Morley Companies, Inc. – Since 1862, Morley Companies has supported a d sponsored activities that benefit the quality of life in Saginaw and the region, including the Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum.
The May 3 awards banquet begins at 6:30 p.m. with hors d’ oeuvres and music by Brush Street followed by dinner and the announcement of the winners. After dinner, Brush Street featuring Julie Mulady will perform original selections from Mike Brush’s new book, “Words: A Collection of Lyrics.”
The event is open to the public. Tickets are $40 per person. Call (989) 759-1363, ext. 223 for more information or to purchase tickets.
Patron sponsors of the event are Absolute! Building Maintenance, Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland, Hausbeck Pickle Company, HealthPlus of Michigan, David and Audrey Lewis, St. Mary’s of Michigan, W.L. Case & Company and Wildfire Credit Union.